The Istanbul Doors Restaurant Group Acquires the Restaurant Business of Michelin-Starred Chef Tom Aikens
London - March 24, 2011 - The Istanbul Doors Restaurant Group and Tom Aikens have announced a new business partnership for Tom’s London-based restaurants. Effective 24th March 2011, the Istanbul Doors Restaurant Group Ltd will become an investment and strategic partner of Tom’s, to both oversee his existing restaurants, and to grow the business.
Currently, Tom Aikens Group Ltd has two Chelsea sites – Tom Aikens Restaurant, and Tom’s Kitchen – in addition to Tom’s Kitchen, Tom’s Deli, Tom’s Terrace and Tom’s Events, all at Somerset House on the Embankment.
The Istanbul Doors Restaurant Group is the leading restaurant and entertainment group in Turkey. It was established in 1993 and currently owns 12 brands, which include 24 restaurants, franchises and a hotel. Its first restaurant was Da Mario, opened in 1993, which was the first Italian restaurant in Istanbul. Other sites include Angelique, A’jia, Gina, Mama, Vogue Restaurant & Bar, Wan-na, Kitchenette, and Zuma (sister restaurant to the London business). Istanbul Doors Restaurant Group is backed by Trilantic Capital Partners, a prominent private equity firm focused on middle market investments in North America and Europe.
In October 2008, entrepreneur and businessman Peter Dubens acquired Tom Aikens’ business. Tom is very grateful to Peter for having acquired the group when he did, and while this was a good working relationship, he now wants to take the company in a different direction. He is excited at the potential of a new challenge with Doors, who will bring a wide variety of strengths to his existing business, notably in terms of experience within a diverse portfolio of highly successful restaurants.
This partnership will be looking to expand and strengthen the Tom’s Kitchen brand; in addition, a significant refurbishment and re-launch of the flagship Tom Aikens Restaurant in Elystan Street is planned. This will result in a 2-3 month closure from June 2011, re-opening in early September with a more contemporary look and new more informal menu and service approach.
Tom Aikens, 41, began his cooking career in London at Cavalier’s (with chef David Cavalier), followed by The Capital Hotel (with Philip Britten), La Tante Claire (with Pierre Koffmann), and Pied à Terre (both with Richard Neat, and then as head chef). Tom opened his first, eponymous restaurant in 2003, followed by Tom’s Kitchen in 2006, and the Somerset House sites since mid-2010.